Hello, everyone! Sorry this is a day late. Here’s the part two of Titanic Sacrifice. Also, here’s part one if you need a refresher. Enjoy!
The voyage went smoothly for the first few days. My 3rd-class compartment, though very small and a bit cramped, was enough to suit my needs. I saw Mr. Barstable once or twice, but it was always from a distance, and I slowly began to forget my anger towards him once more.
Then, one night, I was awakened by someone knocking at my door. I sat up and slid out of bed, then drew back suddenly as my feet encountered cold water on the floor of my cabin. My mind raced, wondering what was going on. I hurried to the door, pulling a robe over my nightgown and hoping to find someone who could explain. Sure enough, a steward stood outside.
He nodded politely. “Miss, everyone is to come up on deck as soon as they can. You’re to wear your life preserver. Please be quick.” He nodded again and hurried away before I could ask any questions.
I hastily pulled on a jacket and a life preserver over my nightdress. Was the ship sinking? No, it couldn’t be sinking. It was called unsinkable, after all. But if it wasn’t sinking, why was there all this water on my floor?
As I hurried through the passages, I looked for anyone who might have answers, but saw no one. Finally, I decided that I’d have to wait until I reached the deck to find out.
When I arrived on deck, I found it crowded with people, many of whom seemed unsure of why they were there. Over at the rail, people were being helped into lifeboats by the crew. I frowned. “What’s going on here?”
An all-too-familiar voice came from behind me. “Miss Smithson! Why are you not on a lifeboat yet?”
I turned and saw Mr. Barstable standing just behind me. I frowned, putting my hands on my hips. “What is going on here, sir? Does anyone know?”
Mr. Barstable began guiding me towards the lifeboats. “I do not think we are supposed to know, Miss Smithson, but the Titanic is sinking. Women and children are to leave first. You must get on a lifeboat at once.”
I frowned, noting the small number of lifeboats remaining. “Sinking? It can’t be sinking.” I remembered the water in my cabin and in the passageway and almost took my statement back. Maybe it was sinking. “And what about you; aren’t you getting on as well?” Even if I didn’t like Mr. Barstable, he didn’t deserve to be drowned.
He shook his head. “It is sinking, Miss Smithson, and I shall follow later if I can. If not, well, Christ died for man. I can do no better than to follow His example.”
Before I could protest, I was helped into the last spot in one of the lifeboats. The boat was quickly lowered away from the ship. There were several minutes of confusion after we reached the surface of the water, but eventually, several people decided to start rowing. I, however, sat dumbly, not quite believing what was happening.
Before long, I heard a strange noise behind me. I looked back to see the ship oddly cracked in half, one end pointing up towards the night sky, one end pointed into the sea. I watched, fighting the urge to cry out, as the ship sank into the dark waters. I knew that Mr. Barstable would not have been able to escape. He died to save me and all of us here. Why? Why would he do that? I straightened up, pushing back the tears. I had to be strong; I could grieve later, when we were safe, if we were ever safe.
After several long hours drifting in the darkness, another ship arrived and picked us up. I was given a blanket and a hot drink, and taken with the others to a large room. I was too exhausted, mentally and physically, to recognize anything about the room, save that it was warm, dry, and hopefully safe. I curled up in a corner, and finally allowed myself to cry. He died. They all died, everyone back on that ship. They sacrificed themselves for me and the others here. Why? Why would they do that?
I bit my lip, remembering Mr. Barstable’s final words to me. “Christ died for man; I can do no better than to follow his example.” I knew a bit about what he meant. My parents had both been Christians, but I’d never really cared. Now I wondered if maybe I should’ve cared all along. Bringing to mind a few of the things I’d heard from my family years ago, I bowed my head and whispered a prayer. “Jesus, I don’t know much about You, but I’d like to learn more about who You are. I’m sorry for my hatred of Mr. Barstable and all the other things I’ve done. Please forgive me. Amen.” I looked up, glancing out a nearby porthole towards where the Titanic had sank. I won’t forget. I’ll never forget.
What did you think? I’d love it if you’d comment and tell me. Thanks for reading!